Up to this point, the Detroit Lions Football have yet to face any true competition. This week will be a better indicator of where they are as a team.
Joint practices and walk-through between the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots have been cancelled. It won’t be until Friday, the day of the exhibition matchup, that both teams will face off against each other for the first time this offseason. If the Lions want to be the best, playing well against the Patriots is a good start to getting there.
Typically, Week 3 of preseason games is when most of the starters play a majority of the contest and is a warm up prior to the start of the regular season. Both the Lions and Patriots will get a little taste of the real deal.
Lions Offense vs. Patriots Defense
Tough call but I’ll take the Lions. Their offense isn’t necessarily that hot, it’s just the Patriots defense is still trying to figure themselves out. Both have a lot of improving to do, but the team that is better off in this matchup is the Lions.
Lions Defense vs. Patriots Offense
Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but the Lions haven’t exactly had any true test up to this point. Neither the New York Jets nor the Indianapolis Colts played their top quarterback and both teams don’t have quality offensive lines. The Patriots will more than likely humble the Lions and show them there is a long road ahead to reach championship caliber status.
Lions Kicking vs. Patriots Return
Even without the Lions top punter/kickoff specialist, their punt and kickoff coverage units are stellar. The Patriots have decent return men but no one that can’t be corralled. Detroit can also put a hurting on New England in the field goal department.
Lions Return vs. Patriots Kicking
I guess it’s vice versa in this case. There are still questions with the Lions still trying to figure out their return units, so that already puts them at a disadvantage. As far as coverage and scoring points from field goals, the Patriots are as clutch and consistent as they come.
Being similarly matched and having no clear determining factor(s) to separate the two teams, it comes down to guessing. It is the preseason so neither team will try too hard, but I feel Detroit will try harder.
Even though the Patriots have the best coaching in the NFL, I think they will be more conservative with their starters and play their depth players earlier and more often. Win or lose, this game won’t make or break the season for either team, but I feel the Lions have more to prove than the Patriots.